The Horch name is set to return after nearly 70 years!

Audi will revive the Horch name with the facelifted version of the A8. The current generation of Audi’s flagship full-size sedan will feature an ultra-luxurious trim level named after the long-discontinued brand Horch when the facelift is introduced three to four years from now. The car might come with a W12 engine like previous A8 L models but will not be stretched beyond the L’s wheelbase.

It will be almost 70 years since the last Horch was built, back in 1953, when Audi will introduce the nameplate again as a top-of-the-line trim package for the A8. Akin to Mercedes’ Maybach S model launched in 2015. It will mark Audi’s entry in the ultra-luxurious sector where it will also face brands like Bentley and Rolls-Royce.

Audi has learned from Mercedes’ past error, that of introducing Maybach as a separate brand, and will offer the A8 Horch as just a trim level under the Audi umbrella. It’s also unlikely that we’ll see the Horch moniker on the C-Pillars of other Audi sedans although Audi hasn’t ruled the idea completely out.

Why does it matter

The 2020 Audi A8 May Revive the Legendary Horch Moniker as it Rolls into Ultra-Luxurious Territory Exterior High Resolution
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The Horch cars of the 1930s were some of the most luxurious to be built in Germany and the company’s co-founder, August Horch, is the man that went on to establish Audi after falling out with his business partner Salli Herz and wanting to start off new.

Now, Audi wants to revive its founder's earliest exploit by bringing Horch back in the form of a top-tier package for the already lavish A8.

While the new car will essentially be a Maybach S competitor with some Horch branding, ultra high-tech, a lush interior, and the biggest power output of the whole range, the original Horch cars were standalone, even through the merger that led to the formation of Auto Union.

Established in 1899, the Horch company went from producing 5 horsepower cars to making cars with four times the power in just three years. By 1926, Horch was one of the first manufacturers in the world to use 8-cylinder engines, and their sedans were well-known in Germany for outstanding build quality and luxury.

The 2020 Audi A8 May Revive the Legendary Horch Moniker as it Rolls into Ultra-Luxurious Territory Exterior High Resolution
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Indeed, models like the 853 Cabriolet, the 855 Speedster, and the 850 Sedan solidified Horch’s position as not only Auto Union’s luxury brand, but one of the most coveted cars to come out of Germany. Yes, they never matched the power outputs of the supercharged Mercedes rivals, their most powerful engine being the 6.0-liter V-12 good for about 120 horsepower, but they have remained staples of European ’30s design to this day.

This is why the new A8 Horch has set itself a high standard. Yes, Horch may be as anonymous now as Maybach was back in 2003 when Mercedes introduced the 57 and 62 sedans, but it’s a name rich in heritage within the Audi group.

Also, the Ingolstadt-based marque was clever enough to not bring Horch back as a standalone brand, taking the failure of the previously-mentioned Maybach rebirth as a negative example.

Also, do not expect a Laundaulet from Audi...

Further reading

2018 Audi A8 Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the 2018 Audi A8.

Source: Automotive News

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